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Study reveals how implicit bias affects pedestrians of color walking on the road.

A fascinating look at driver psychology.

race, danger, walking, safety, perception
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

A person of color uses a crosswalk.

You missed a study that illuminates the very real dangers of literally "walking while black."

In addition to rogue police officers targeting people of color on the street, a study from Portland State University found that drivers are less likely to stop for black pedestrians.

The study, a follow-up from one conducted in 2014, administered tests using identically dressed black and white volunteers attempting to cross the same intersection. The 2014 study revealed black male pedestrians waited 32% longer than white male pedestrians for cars to stop. The 2017 research expanded on these tests to include black and white women and marked versus unmarked crosswalks.


When the crosswalk was unmarked, the stopping rate was relatively low across the board, regardless of race or gender — and regardless of Oregon law. However, when zebra stripes were added to the crosswalk, drivers were more likely to stop for white pedestrians, regardless of their own race or gender. In these marked crosswalks, cars stopped for white pedestrians 57% of the time and black pedestrians 44% of the time.

crosswalk, pedestrians, victims, disparity

Using a crosswalk has some unwanted inherit risks.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

And the drivers who did stop for black pedestrians tended to crowd the crosswalk, giving black pedestrians less room to cross safely.

The researchers also measured where drivers stopped for pedestrians. A driver stopping on or before the stop line is more than 10 feet away from the intersection, giving the pedestrian ample room to cross. When the pedestrian was a black male, drivers stopped after the stop line in 71% of the trials. For black women, it was 67%.

When the pedestrians were white men or women, the drivers stopped before the line 52% and 55% of the time, respectively.

Yes, you're reading this data correctly — the very tool meant to keep all pedestrians safe is generally effective only when the pedestrians are white.

responsibility, car safety, fatalities, people of color

safe space, respect, bias, studies

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Studies like this don't necessarily mean everyone behind the wheel is racist. But it's likely that implicit biases are at work.

Since the race and ethnicity of the driver had little effect on whether they yielded to pedestrians, it's unlikely that they're driving around with malicious intent to injure or harm pedestrians of color. However, subconscious and implicit biases — aversions, preferences, or attitudes that we prescribe to certain people or communities without even realizing it — are real and powerful. When we have to make quick decisions, our brains often rely on these implicit biases, which can have unintended (even deadly) consequences.

"Driving is a situation where you're processing a lot of information," Kimberly Kahn of the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University told The Oregonian. "It's in those situations where the most subtle and implicit biases can impact decision-making."

Some of these implicit biases may be why people of color are overrepresented when it comes to pedestrian fatalities.

In 2014, nearly 5,000 people in the U.S. were killed while walking. Non-white individuals are approximately 35% of the U.S. population but make up just over 46% of pedestrian deaths. Some of this can be attributed to the higher prevalence of pedestrians of color and the way certain streets and neighborhoods are designed with minimal safe crossings. However, even controlling for these factors, a disparity persists — it's simply not safe to walk in some neighborhoods.

But there are ways to combat both unsafe walking conditions and our own biases.

Increasing the number of drivers stopping for pedestrians across the board will inherently improve the number of drivers stopping for people of color. This means pushing local leaders for better crosswalk signage and street marking. It's also important to implement smart design, investigate where pedestrians are most at risk for being struck, and consider what measures can be put in place to slow cars or change traffic patterns.

And it's crucial that we work on our own implicit biases, first by acknowledging that they exist. It can be difficult to take a good hard look at why we think the way we do, but by examining our own preconceived notions and attitudes, we can make great strides toward dismantling or changing them.

This article originally appeared on 11.01.17

Community

Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

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Samantha has trouble every time she gets a new work email.

The recent trend of parents going out of their way to give their children unique names has brought up a lot of discussion on social media. Some of these names sound cute when a child is 5 years old. But will Caeleigh, Zoomer or Rhyedyr look like a serious adult on a job application in a few years?

A recent viral video on TikTok is a unique twist on the current discussion surrounding names. Samantha Hart has a name that doesn’t seem like it would draw any negative attention in professional circles. However, her parents didn’t consider email conventions when they named her back in the late ‘90s when email was new.

“My name is Samantha Hart,” the 27-year-old said. “Most companies use the email designation of first initial, last name, meaning my email would be shart.” For the uninitiated, a shart is an unintentional release when one thinks they only have gas.

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@madihart_soccer/TikTok

When the joke doesn't land, but that makes it even better.

Back in December of 2023, LA-based, progressive comedian Madi Hart made a joke that went viral in the most unlikely of places: right wing media.

Here’s what happened: Hart had just been on a date with someone she described as a “guy’s guy,” who incidentally paid for everything on said date. In a TikTok clip, Hart joked that because of that, she joked "I felt the feminism leaving my body,” based on a long running conservative meme.

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Mike McLoughlan realized something very important about his dishwasher.

No one likes doing the dishes, but the tedious chore is made much easier when using a dishwasher. However, an alarming amount of people have reported that their dishwashers can actually make the job harder because they don't properly fit their dishes.

And that's where Twitter user Mike McLoughlin (@zuroph) comes in.

Back in January, McLoughlin made an observation about his dishwasher that would change the way he does dishes forever. For a decade, the Irishman thought that the bottom rack of his washer simply was too small for his large dinner plates. Then he made an amazing discovery:

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Women's Health

A young journalist is using social media to highlight a hidden struggle of war for women

Women and girls are without feminine hygiene products increasing risk of infection.

Bisan Owda|Instagram/Aris Leoven|Canva

Young journalist highlights period poverty during war

Many citizens of western countries have no experience living in a war zone and the toll it takes on a person's overall wellbeing. Usually to protect the civilian population, other countries open their borders to allow those vulnerable inside so their needs can be met without the constant threat of harm. But not every population has the option to leave their war torn country for safety with the comfort of knowing they'll be able to return when it's safe.

For some people, they have to stay where they are and make do with what's available. This means dealing with situations that people who are donating to assist innocent civilians may not realize things that are needed outside of food, water and baby formula.

Bisan Owda, 25, is a journalist in Gaza who has made it her mission to strip the shame away from an issue unique to women trapped in the middle of a war.

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Rhys James surprises a troll by outing him in front of an audience.

“Comedians Giving Lectures” is a UK show that features funny people competing against each other to see who can give the best TED-style talk. One of the most memorable was by 32-year-old comedian Rhys James, who lectured about online stalking and his speech ended with a twist. He outed a surprised audience member as one of his online trolls.

The lecture opens with a bit on how just about everyone does a bit of social media stalking, whether it's old-school friends or former love interests. But then he asks the big question: When do we know we’ve gone too far? Is it scrolling through hundreds of posts on someone’s page or accidentally liking a photo someone posted years ago?

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True

Soda is entwined in the American experience. From our sports games to the movie theater, every child’s birthday, and simply in most American refrigerators, soda is ubiquitously tied to our every day. It has become one of the biggest businesses in the world with fierce competition among brands, fighting not only for the American dollar but for a space in our collective consciousness.

But we all now know it’s bad for you, plain and simple.

Enter OLIPOP, the first soda to break the sugary mold and enter Americans’ refrigerators en masse. OLIPOP's humble beginnings start by rewinding the clock almost two decades ago. Co-founder, CEO, and Formulator Ben Goodwin was searching for the most scientifically credible and accessible way to promote microbiome and digestive health to everyone.

Like a mad soda scientist, Ben was on a mission to make a soda that’s both delicious and supports digestive health. To truly grasp Ben's passion for health, let's journey even further back in time to his teenage years. Anxious, overweight, and disenchanted with the low-fiber, high-sugar Standard American Diet (SAD), Ben recognized the need for a transformation. He overhauled his lifestyle and diet and lost 50lbs. As he continued down the path of rigorous nutritional experimentation, Ben discovered that his lifestyle changes not only enhanced his energy levels and physical well-being but also positively impacted his mental health and cognitive functioning.

This health journey eventually led to his discovery of the microbiome—a vast community of trillions of bacteria influencing everything from the immune system to digestive functioning to emotional health. As health experts like to point out, our modern-day microbiomes lack the flourishing diversity of healthy bacteria. This is largely due to our diets, characterized by a scarcity of fiber and an excess of added sugars. The challenge lies in the fact that, in our busy lives, most of us don't have the luxury to wander through forests and woods, picking berries, and searching for fibrous roots. But yet, we desperately need a diet that’s nutritious, diverse, fruit-full, vegetable-stuffed, and fiber-filled.

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